There is only ONE way to parent

strengthsfinder one way to parent

No matter what the books and the experts say, there is only ONE way to parent.

James is a leveled dad. He often takes a few beats before responding to his talkative pre-teen boy. He weighs risk and gives a measured response when he decides to give permission to his social daughter.

Anne, James’ wife, jumps right in. She talks it out with her emotionally-wired boy. She pushes for greater excellence at school when her perfection-oriented daughter wants to call it quits.

Their parenting styles differ like night and day. Their two kids are polar opposites. Yet, they both consider themselves effective parents. {And their kids are doing well in life!}

A while back, they both adopted the ONE way to parent.

Paradoxically perhaps, that ONE way looks different for Anne and for James, and for their interactions with both of their two kids.

You will be the best parent you can be when you find the intersection between your own Strengths and the Strengths of your kids.

Outside perspectives and tips from wise friends and seasoned experts can be helpful, but in the end, you will be most effective and your kids will be most well-adjusted when you understand the way you are wired to parent and the way your kids are wired to grow.

StrengthsFinder 34 connect marriage resource

{For a powerful and emotional story about the road to Strengths Based parenting, read about Wex and his sons}

Here are the two strategies that help you zero in on the ONE way to parent:

Be Your Own Parent

You can only parent in the way that fits best with YOUR strengths and talents. There is no other way.

When my kids were first born, I remember thinking how much I REALLY wanted to be laid back. I wanted to go with the flow and take everything in stride.

I saw another friend around me who seemed to be able to take this approach, and she thrived.

That is what I WANTED. But that is not what I WAS.

Based on the way I am wired—my most natural talents and strengths—I do not thrive by flying by the seat of my pants. I thrive in routine and planning and structure.

To this day, I am the best parent I can be when I have a plan and have created space for quiet {even if that means prying myself out of bed 30 minutes before I have to}.

I am learning to embrace that.

The CliftonStrengths assessment {most widely known as StrengthsFinder} is an incredibly easy and well-researched tool that helps us, as parents, identify those Strengths we truly bring to the table as a parent {and all parts of life!}. It helps you hone in on your Top 5 Strengths, so you can know your greatest tools to be the most effective parent you can be.

SF + SS life fullest

Be a Student of Your Kids

For as much as we want to impact and influence our kids, there is an unmistakable truth I have discovered only by experience with four kids—they come hard wired.

If you have more than one child—or know more than one child!—you have probably discovered this, too.

In the book, Strengths Based Parenting, by Mary Reckmeyer and Jennifer Robison, they emphasize the importance of knowing and understanding the natural talents and inclinations of your kids.

In younger kids, they coined the phrase Strengths Spotting. Strengths Spotting is the intentional exploration and observation of your kids. This includes they way they think, feel and behave.

In pre-teens and teens, Strengths Spotting continues! Ongoing observation and authentic engagement encourages development of their strongest tendencies.

In addition, kids ages 10-14 can get more clarity around their natural Strengths by taking a short assessment called Strengths Explorer—which gives your child their Top 3 natural talent tendencies. {There is a fantastic free parent guide to download at the Strengths Explorer links as well—I just discovered it!}.

High school aged kids {or adult kids!} hone in on their Top 5 Strengths—their most natural talents—by taking the CliftonStrengths {StrengthsFinder} assessment {just like you do!}. Both of these assessments are offered and backed up by decades of research out of Gallup.

strengthsfinder kids in park nyc

So, as you engage in the hardest job in the world this week, remember, there is only ONE way to parent.

Find that spot where you are both using your Strengths and encouraging your kids’ Strengths, and you will both thrive.

If you have an experience about taking a stab at #strengthsbasedparenting I’d love to hear about it! Share your story by tagging @isogostrong over on Instagram. If you scroll through my feed, or checkout the hash tag, I do the same in my own #strengthsbasedparenting journey!

For more Strengths based parenting ideas and stories, check out the Isogo TV Roundup about Marriage and Family.



Links & Resources from today

Discover your Top 5 Strengths with StrengthsFinder + Strengths Startup
ITV 26 | The ONLY Parenting Strategy That Works
From Defeated to Inspired: A Parenting Strengths Story
How do I use StrengthsFinder in my Marriage, Family, and Parenting? | The Best of Isogo TV Season 1 All in One Place {2 of 5}
{9 Steps} to Life Change through your StrengthsFinder Top 5 Strengths
Strengths Explorer
Strengths Based Parenting


The Strengths-perspective can impact your marriage, your parenting, and your work!

If you’re into it or you’re just not so sure about it all, reach out, and let’s connect about it. You can catch me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, all at @isogostrong, by this handy contact form, or in our Energy Up Frustration Down facebook group.

Enjoy your day, and {be strong}!

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